Fall 2017 Ladies’ Victorian Tea

Although the weather was quite warm for late September, the Clark House was transported back in time to serve as a place for an afternoon tea. Guests were treated to a music as they entered the Clark House great room, beautifully decorated for a fall tea.

An introduction made by Executive Director, Jonathan Bogert, with a brief explanation about the Society and introduction of the speaker, Katie Gaudreau. Guests were invited to fill their plates with goodies and then served their choice of tea. The menu included: Cranberry Scones, Apple Cake, Assorted Cheese and Fruit, Pumpkin Muffins, Nut Break and Apple Cheddar Tea Sandwiches. The teas included: Irish Breakfast, White Peach, or the Clark House Fall Blend. The Clark House Fall Blend is available for purchase in the Society Gift Shop.

The day continued with a presentation given by Gaudreau. The Gilded Age, La Belle Epoque, the Edwardian Period, the turn of the 20th century is known by many names. Regardless of what it may be labeled, it was definitely an exciting time of change particularly for women. The styles in clothing were a distinct departure from the Victorian period, the rights of women were being questioned and fought for, even the beliefs of marriage and romantic love were evolving from that of the century before. The presentation brought up conversation and questions. After the presentation guests were invited to enjoy an exhibit of the styles of dress form 1900 to 1910 and look around the Victorian Clark House Mansion.

If you missed this event be on the look out for other events and be aware that there will be another opportunity to join us for tea in the Spring!!

John Sutton Hall: The Symbol of IUP

John Sutton Hall has been the main building on the campus of IUP since it’s inception in 1875, at the time the school was known as the Indiana State Normal School. An advertisement in the Democrat on July 13, 1876, spoke highly of John Sutton Hall, the sole building on campus as follows:

“The building is remarkable for its being well lighted, well ventilated, and for its general air of cheerfulness. It has been pronounced by Prof. Wickersham, the Superintendent of Public Instruction as unquestionably the best building of its kind in the United States.”

The first catalogue for 1875 listed that tuition, room and board “…including light, heat, and washing,” was $70 for the spring term, $75 for the fall term, and $80 for the winter term. Over the next few years the school in order to cut down on some expenses had to dictated that students who washed more than ten pieces of personal items — this excluded towels and napkins — had to pay an extra 50 cents per dozen per week. Student life at the time was much different than today, but one should keep in mind that this was a different time period and everything dealing with the school was run out of just one building!

John Sutton Hall was constructed out of bricks that were fired on a corner of campus and the architecture of the building allowed for the following: lecture and recitation rooms, laboratory and library, reception rooms, recreation room and and chapel, kitchen and dining hall, student dormitory, faculty offices and apartments, water-closets, society rooms, laundry and heating plant. Originally John Sutton Hall was built to accommodate 400 students, but the initial enrollment in 1875 was 150 students. In 2016, the enrollment at IUP was 12,853.

John Sutton Hall continued to be a staple on campus until 1974 when the decision was made to demolish John Sutton Hall because renovation costs soared and there was limited funds allocated to renovate. But the community rallied around John Sutton Hall created “The Committee to Save John Sutton Hall; and on September 19, 1975 the Board of Trustees received a letter indicated that as of September 17, 1874 John Sutton Hall was included on the National Register of Historic Places. And so John Sutton Hall was saved.

A banner made during the Save Sutton Campaign

Today John Sutton Hall serves the purpose of administration offices, faculty offices, and boast Gorell Recital Hall and the Blue Room used for receptions and concerts.

Some interesting facts from the First Catalogue of the State Normal School in 1875 gives us today a time to pause and consider the difference in education and how we live what seems like a different life.

  • Students were not to correspond, walk, or ride with those of the opposite sex nor meet in the reception room, parlor or elsewhere, except by special permission from the Principal and the Preceptress.
  • All wrestling, running, scuffling, or other rude and boisterous noises, were forbidden at any time.
  • Students were required to sweep their own rooms daily, previous to the sweeping of the halls in the morning, and they would not be allowed to sweep dust into the halls at any other time. 
  • Students were not allowed to throw water, dirt, or anything offensive or dangerous from the doors or windows of the building at any time.
  • Students were not allowed to keep carbon oil, camphine, or burning fluid of any kind in the building and all lights were to be extinguished by 10:00 PM.

John Sutton Hall holds a lot of history within it’s walls, this posting is just a snapshot of its beginnings and the beginning of student life on campus. University life has expanded a lot since the first class came through in 1875 and it is sure to continue to change in the years to come.

Sources: John Sutton Hall–A Victorian Restoration; First Catalogue for Indiana State Normal School

Daniel Stanard: First Attorney in Indiana County

Attorneys play an important role in the United States Justice System, and Indiana has no shortage of attorneys. It’s important though to recognize the first of everything, and attorneys are no different. Daniel Stanard was the the first attorney in Indiana.

Mr. Stanard was born in 1784 and was a native of Vermont and moved to Indiana in 1807. His first task was serving as clerk to the County Commissioners from 1808 until 1810 and again in 1816. Mr. Stanard was antislavery and demonstrated his views by loaning money to Dr. Robert Mitchell who was on trial in Federal Court for “harboring” fugitive slaves. Mr. Stanard was also a supporter of education and was named a trustee of the Indiana Academy in 1814 along with a school inspector of Washington Township in 1835. He was also named as a trustee in 1838 of the Indiana Free Seminary. Mr. Stanard retired from legal practice in 1836. Daniel Stanard died in 1867. Today we have reminders of the first resident attorney by Stanard Avenue in Indiana being named for Daniel Stanard.

Indiana County Four Covered Bridges

Indiana County is very lucky to have four covered bridges remaining from the bygone era, and even more impressive is that one of the bridges is still navigable by motor vehicle. It is time to take a trip back in time to discover the treasures of Indiana County Covered Bridges.


The Trusal Covered Bridge is the oldest of Indiana County’s covered bridges, built in 1870 in the Town Lattice Style. The bridge is 41 feet in length and located in Washington Township along Five Points Road and carried traffic over the South Branch of Plum Creek. The bridge was named for the nearby property owner Robert Trusal.


The Harmon Covered Bridge was constructed in 1910 by John R. Carnahan and is also built in the Town Lattice Style and cost $525 to build. This bridge is also located in Washington Township along Five Points Road and crossed over the South Branch of Plum Creek, very close to the Trusal Covered Bridge. The bridge was named after Civil War veteran J.S. Harmon.


The Kintersburg Covered Bridge was built in 1877 by J.S. Fleming in the Howe Truss type. The bridge is 68 feet in length and cross Crooked Creek. The bridge is located off Route 119 by turning onto Tanoma Road. The bridge is named for Isaac Kinter, a local shopkeeper. The bridge cost $893 to construct. This is the only Howe Truss bridge in Indiana County and only one of five Howe Truss bridges remaining in Pennsylvania, so we are very lucky to have this piece of history.


The last of the remaining covered bridges in Indiana County is the Thomas Covered Bridge, built in 1879 and completely reconstructed in 1998. The bridge was built by Amos Thomas over Crooked Creek near Yarnick’s Farm Market, and is still navigable by motor vehicle. The bridge is 75 feet in length, making it the longest of the covered bridges remaining in Indiana County. When it was built in 1879 it cost $545 but the reconstruction in 1998 cost slightly more than $1 million. The Bridge is also known as Thomas Ford Bridge because prior to the construction of the bridge there was a fording stream crossing this location. When the railroad was constructed in the area in the early 1900s, the bridge became known as the Thomas Station Bridge. 

Why cover the bridge?

There were many reasons for covering the bridge, first and foremost was for protection, the bridges were made out of wood, therefore exposure to the elements would make the structure vulnerable to rot. So by covering and roofing the structure protected the bridge from the weather, and making them last longer. Second the bridges were built to resemble bars, therefore making farm animals feel more at home. Further by covering the bridges prevented the ‘floor’ from becoming slippery during inclement weather.
So while you are out for a drive during the autumn season be sure to take a trip around Indiana County and take in these spectacular structures.